The Manna is a log cabin that overlooks the lake in the grounds of Ruston House. It was originally conceived as venue for day retreats but the plan developed and it is now expected that, when ready, it will also be available, for a limited number of weekends each year, as a venue for those who wish to have a short "off-grid" break at what many would consider to be an idyllic site on the fringes of the Norfolk Broads National Park.
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Having started on Monday there were a couple of minor hiccups along the way. For example, the felt shingles that Richard had bought online turned out to be black, rather than the grey needed to match the rest of the roof. The result was that you could not see much progress from ground level on Thursday afternoon other than a first coat of stain having been applied. So it was not till Friday afternoon that the decking boards were installed and Richard's work was complete.
As plans for the Manna have developed we now foresee The Manna being used for "off-grid" weekend retreats and while, in the winter months, cooking on the wood burning stove inside should have appeal, we began to think that as that was the only source of heat for cooking, it might be less welcome in the summer. That led us to move the barbecue to The Manna, where it could be used as an external kitchen in warmer months and that meant an extension to the veranda is required.
The initial coat of stain on the log cabin is complete. The door and window frames are now black. That might seem a strange choice but the tilt and turn mechanism on the opening windows that flank the side door have a black strip in the frames below the glass and having the rest of the frame black is a good way of hiding that. However, given what was happening with the water levels, my comments show more interest in that than the look of The Manna.
It's now the end of the week and the cabin has been formally handed over. The picture I took this evening shows that the glazing unit has now been fitted and the veranda boarding is no longer in a stack an about to be laid. The trim at each end of the roof has also been fitted. Now all that needs to be done is for the cabin to be given a coat of stain to protect it.
I may be describing this as "Day Five", but as you'll realise when looking at the dates of posting, there's been a gap over the weekend. This morning scaffolders arrived to do their thing so that work could continue on getting the roof finished. It was a simple task and there were gone before 10:30. We were warned the the folks from the shed company wouldn't be back until Wednesday. One worry is whether we'll be able to get and keep the lake free of duckweed.
It's Saturday and, after a day working on the path, I finally got round to taking photographs of the work on the cabin done yesterday. At first glance, as you approach, you might think the cabin is finished, but as you get closer you'll realise that there is no boarding on the veranda. Another thing you'll realise is that while the cabin is water tight there's only an under-felt on the roof. There are still the felt shingles to fit.
Once again, shortly after midday, I made a trip with camera to see progress on the cabin. From a distance you really get a good idea of how it will sit in the landscape. Once at the site we see that the veranda roof, or loft floor, has been fitted as has that to both rooms the cabin. Up on the roof the team consider the next rafter to be put in position. Inside, you can see how the area above the veranda will look.
The team were on site early and we let them get on with their job, making a first visit with the camera just after midday. They'd made significant progress. It almost makes you wonder if the whole job will take the four days planned. Just after 16:15 I went to look at how the cabin will appear to those holidaying in the cottages. Because of the angles between trees at the edge of the site, large holly bushes on the communal lawns and the island, only two of the cottages have any view of the cabin.
At long last today was the day when the team arrived on site to erect our log cabin. A good part of the day was spent unloading the two trucks and carting all the material 100 yards across the cottage lawns.
They were then able to start work on putting all the parts together on our side of the fence. The pictures were taken just after 18:50, when the sun was so low it only reached the top of the trees.
Today saw the first step in the installation of the long awaited log cabin. Piles were driven 6ft into the ground. They were topped with paving slabs and then the base frames were bolted together and levelled. The job was really quite quick. This photo was taken just after 15:00 and the team had already left the site.